Over the next couple of months with the holidays we’re doing some “Best of” weeks with Tuesday Tales. We pick the best, or our favorite, Tuesday Tales from our run in the group and post those instead of using a word prompt.
I thought for my first “best of” I’d go back to the beginning. My first week in Tuesday Tales I started this story. With my insanely busy year in publishing I haven’t had time to finish up this first chapter of the Hybrid stories, but it still holds a dear place for me and I hope to get back to it in 2014.
Without further ado, I invite you to revisit Hybrid…my first ever Tuesday Tales post which used the prompt: Light.
The high pitched whine of a delivery truck’s brakes penetrated the sanctuary of peace I’d built. Heavy footsteps plodded through the snow, a shadowy form growing larger through the intricate frosted glass.
Tension started to wind its way through each of my relaxed muscles. The calm center I’d managed to find popped like a bubble at the peal of our insanely loud doorbell.
So much for meditation.
With the kids at school and husband at work I thought maybe I could manage to find peace and quiet for five minutes. That’s what I get for making plans.
“I could try again.” Even as I said it, I knew it was just too much work.
Besides, curiosity tugged my attention toward the door. Despite last year’s mad obsession with the home shopping channels, I’d been very good about not buying a whole lot this year. I couldn’t recall ordering anything in the past week.
Maybe Darren had ordered something.
I snorted as I rose to my feet. Darren wouldn’t order anything online. Doesn’t trust the internet, big brother, or the space needle. I have always thought it was adorable, really. The man didn’t even own a smartphone.
Everyone owns smartphones. Even everyone in the government he’s so afraid of.
I pulled open the door and found a small box, hardly worth shipping via the big shipping company. Addressed to Carolyn Riese. Me. Return address, oddly smudged until unreadable.
My hackles raised and I glanced around the quiet neighborhood.
Nothing out of the ordinary caught my eye, but my nerves stayed on edge. Winter covered every naked branch and home, covering the world in white silence. A loud scream from a hawk made me jump out of my skin. I found it high in a tree.
Despite the risk of a neighbor seeing I let my third lid blink so I could see beyond the normal. The moment the membrane restored my inhuman sight the world around me changed. Light shimmered and echoed through each snowflake until the ground itself was as blinding as the sun.
Rays of red light streamed down from the tree, echoing sun-dogs in its effect. The red-tailed hawk had revealed itself to be a phoenix.
They were watching me.
If I ignored the package, the consequence could be great.
“It’s only been fifteen years.”
The phoenix turned its head at my complaint, fiery wings flapping before it lifted into the air and soared toward me.
I snatched the box from the porch and slammed the door before he got too close. The box settled in my lap as I sank to the floor. It couldn’t be.
There was still an option to ignore the box, but if I did they’d turn my life upside down in worse ways than I could imagine.
I couldn’t let that happen.
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